The Week of August 5th - August 11th

Words according to Lacy, the mohawk sporting, woman-supporting, bad-ass empowerment speaker with no affiliation whatsoever to Raven Vanguard

Empowerment Through Beauty

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  Confucius 

I’m a weird bird.  I’ve always been attracted to older men, scars, and big noses.  

As I write this, I sit at a stunning, perfectly round table with swirling veneers inlaid into a design that is romantic and fierce at the same time.  I’ve always envisioned magical séances taking place around this table.  The chairs are equally as alluring to a lingering eye.  They are mesomorphic and shapely in a way that is pleasing, but not too overpowering.  They are large, but demure…  sturdy, but delicate.  

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The Week of July 29th - August 4th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

The Grand Fallacy and Subterfuge behind Instagrammable Moments

Regrettably, we now live in a nightmarish world governed by influencers (many of whom are downright charlatans), followers (including fake followers, bots, and follower farms), likes, dislikes, favorites, sponsored content, inauthentic content, vanity metrics, algorithms, and engagement rates. What may have started as a fascinating way to disseminate original and innovative ideas and artistry many years ago, has long since evaporated as an empty promise into the ethers.

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The Week of July 22nd - July 28th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

We dedicate this Weekly Once-over to the perceptions of Gia M and Lacy C

Does Beauty Still Matter?

I know that it used to matter to most people profoundly; at least in centuries past, it did. But does it matter now? In any form? Or to anyone? Well, that is to anyone other than Brooke, Dakota, and me. Thankfully, we also know that beauty matters very much to both Gia and Lacy. But does it matter to you, do you desire it in your life?

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The Week of July 15th - July 21st

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

When Ordinary Labels, Classifications, And Characterizations Don’t Apply

As Brooke, Dakota, and I are finally nearing completion of the redesign of our Music Room, we have been besieged by questions asking us to describe the underlying concept and design style of this multifaceted and sacred space.

Holy Mother! Where, and how, do I even begin to answer this question? Especially when we are dealing with something that, at its core, was always intended to be an inviolable, immutable, and eternal mystery, known only to us. Not only that, but I detest attempting to define something undefinable in a linguistic sense, or that which is thoroughly defying graspable explanation; so, for this reason, I mostly abstain from the very act of definition. From the exact moment of Raven Vanguard’s conception, I have made it clear to anyone willing to listen that we spurn categorization, are without common denominators, and will never resort to being derivative.

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The Week of May 13th - May 19th

Words according to Dakota, SHE II, and Raven Vanguard’s third member, also known as Sloth

Ah yes, the time has come for yet another Weekly Once-Over. What shall we discuss as the world of male political policies closes in on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, the Raven House is coming together and is in pieces all at once, and the Earth is basically on fire according to Bill Nye?

Well - I suppose we should focus on the all out fuckery that is happening in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Texas, and Ohio. I started this week off on a positive note. I was just getting back from a long weekend mini-vacation in Helen, GA. I was warm and sun-tanned (kinda - I have a rather ghost like complexion) and absolutely un-bothered, not knowing that reproductive rights in several states were quickly about to be threatened - setting a very scary precedent in 2019. Do not get me wrong. These are not liberated times. It has not been all sunshine and rainbows for women of color, the LGBT community, specifically trans men and women, and low-income communities.

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The Week of May 6th - May 12th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

Really? Time for Another Once-over?

There must be a new and undiscovered glitch in the space-time continuum because it is not possible that a full week has passed since I was last called upon to pass judgment on the persistent misgivings of humanity. Either that or my astral body is just fucking around again with my human body by attempting to lead it astray down the path adorned in Primrose to the land where vanilla is justly scorned for being mundane. 

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The Week of April 29th - May 5th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

We are revealing today’s Weekly Once-over to you in fragments; not because we are trying to increase Site traffic, but because the week simply got away from us.

A Seasoned Witch

Forty-seven years ago this month, five extraordinarily gifted young men began creating and working in earnest in west London’s District of Sheperd’s Bush on one of, if not the greatest singular achievement in all of modern music. Nearly five months later, Yes would reveal their tour de force, Close To The Edge. This particular version of the Band consisted of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, and Rick Wakeman.

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The Week of April 22nd - April 28th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

Today’s Once-over promises to be entirely unpremeditated, standing in stark contrast to the coldly calculated and systematic brutality carried out by those delusional Islamic jihadists against “unbelievers” in Sri Lanka this past week.

Ever since the Easter Sunday massacres in Sri Lanka, my inner monologue has been working overtime pondering the intangibles of life and existence and the fast-approaching theistic apocalypse. Today, my repressed stream of consciousness has turned into a torrential river of madness causing the dam of my mind to burst wide open in prophetic wonderment.

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The Week of April 15th - April 21st

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

Preface

I am Catholic and today is Good Friday, so you are adequately forewarned.

 

Vengeance is Mine Sayeth the Lord

Well, at least the Bible tells us so – “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, sayeth the Lord.” Taken from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 12:19-21 which is found in the sixth book of the New Testament. To me, these words have long-carried enormous significance and have acted as a personal guidepost, of sorts.

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The Week of April 8th - April 14th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

My Burgeoning Distaste For the Commonplace

Yes, here I go again. Look, I am not stubbornly suggesting that every designed space in this world has to be the equal of The Palace of Versailles, that 17th Century French exaltation of art and creativity, but why, in the design sense, must modernity be so hellishly monotonous? Back in 1977, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager must have been feeling the very same thing. Appreciating that space, in actuality, is the uniting of haven, sanctuary, and hideaway into an oasis from the gathering storm clouds of the mundane. If you ever stepped foot inside Studio 54, you know exactly what it is that I am talking about, don’t you?

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The Week of April 1st - April 7th

Introductory words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

TRIGGER WARNING: Today’s Weekly Once-over Trigger Warning has nothing to do with the fact that it provides, courtesy of Mrs. Hungerford (yes, that one), wickedly titillating details of a Raven-approved (but, not sponsored) evening of lascivious intemperance and female-presenting nipples (take that Tumblr) in the hinterlands of suburbia (although it is just that). Rather, instead of getting straight to our contributing composer’s debauched musings, you are now forewarned of my mildly-profane diatribe, that follows, illustrating, once again, the illegitimacy and utter foolishness of embracing interior design trends or fads.

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The Week of March 25th - March 31st

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

Never Compromise Who You Are

We are who we are. How many times have you heard or uttered this self-limiting five-word death sentence?

Who we are is not unchangeable or immutable; at least it does not have to be. No state of existence is permanent – God Herself bestowed a remarkable gift upon all humankind – this gift, our innate ability, is called inconstancy. And because of this capability, we live in a continuous state of flux. But do we?

Well, some of us do, and most of us don’t. So, when I say “never compromise who you are,” I am not telling you not to change. Change and compromise are not synonymous. By all means change – grow, adapt, develop, flourish, abound. Always strive to become a better version of who you are, not a lesser one, a compromised one. Those who refuse to change, to grow, to become, are compromising. If you abide stagnation, you are compromising your intrinsic right of evolutionary transformation and, ultimately, enlightenment.

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The Week of March 18th - March 24th

Introductory words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative and Visual Director of Raven Vanguard

TRIGGER WARNING: Today’s Weekly Once-over Trigger Warning has nothing to do with the fact that it is another Raven-styled menage a trois (although it is just that). Rather, today’s cautionary admonishment forewarns of the gratuitous and shameless self-promotion of our soon-to-be-finished Music Room.

 

It’s All About the Feeling!

For me, same as it ever was, I suppose. Unfortunately, I can’t explain it in any objective or tangible way. And as hard as I try, I simply can’t conjure the appropriate words to precisely describe exactly what it is that I am feeling. I am speaking about my feelings surrounding the ongoing and unfolding transformation of our sacred space, Raven Vanguard's Music Room.

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The Week of March 11th - March 17th

Words according to Julie, the lawful Princess to the throne in a long lost European Kingdom once inhabited by gypsies, and She having no legitimate connection whatsoever to Raven Vanguard

Now I just have to write. I’ve put it off for far too long; so long in fact now I’m reasonably sure The Moll’s have completely discounted the possibility that I will ever show up for their Weekly Once-over. And, that my friends, is not good friendship skills. To my credit, I’ve had a lot on my plate and also, I’ve been hiding.  Hiding is an interesting condition.  You know you’re there. Everyone else knows you’re there.  But where are you really? And, for the love of god, who are you really? If any one at all. 

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The Week of March 4th - March 10th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

Another Weekly Once-over, another enlightened Raven-styled ménage à trois?

Hardly! Instead, with no pretense or evidence of either divine intervention, synchronicity, or meaningful coincidence, I again am left to toil utterly alone in masturbatory silence in a déjà vu of my own making while my soon-to-be-erstwhile Femme counterparts blissfully engage in random, but purposeful, acts of debauchery elsewhere. Not surprisingly, Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man has been playing in my head on repeat all day, and from time-to-time, the Man In Black invades my brain with his unique take on the Diamond classic which Cash recorded for American III in 2000.

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The Week of February 25th - March 3rd

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

No need for a TRIGGER WARNING of any kind this week because my threesome partners have abandoned me in favor of greener pastures. And since we posted a Raving earlier this week, today’s Once-over is curtailed in favor of conciseness at the expense of aphorisms and wittiness. In reality, Brooke and Dakota told me to just STFU.

 

Decoding the Mystery of Life and Living

Now that I have your undivided attention, let’s talk about the next best thing, the transcendent experience of music in a Raven Vanguard dreamt up music room.

So many questions lately from prospective clients about our utterly unique philosophy underlying and indispensable to our design of one-of-a-kind music listening rooms.

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The Week of February 18th - February 24th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

TRIGGER WARNING: ANOTHER WEEK COMING TO A CLOSE, ANOTHER ORGIASTIC RAVEN-STYLED THREESOME

So, the less we say about this, the better; instead, we’ll leave it to the machinations and fertility of your overly-productive and perverse imaginations to fill in all of the missing visual gaps.

So, in chaotically random order, here’s my take on this past week’s rollercoaster ride through the graveyard of the living.

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The Week of February 11th - February 17th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

The Conundrum of the One (and Another) Called Valentine, the Saintly Ones

In honor of Saint Valentine, Raven Vanguard brings you its first Once-over threesome.

Why is this historical relic known as Valentine such a puzzlement? Although the Catholic Church still recognizes Valentine as a Saint, sufficient confusion surrounds his true identity and his life’s work that the Vatican discontinued his liturgical worship in 1969. So, he’s a saint, until he wasn’t? The only thing we know about him for sure is that he was martyred by Emperor Claudius II (the cruel one) sometime in the 3rd Century when Claudius had Valentine beheaded.

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The Week of February 4th - February 10th

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

*CONTENT WARNING: This Once-over contains graphic references to unspeakable and cowardly acts of violence perpetrated upon women and young children.*

Follies, (Mis)fortunes, and Fiscal Foolishness

I can only be talking about one thing, the overbreadth, and shortsightedness of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s unworkable Green New Deal which she launched yesterday morning (February 7th).

While I agree that we must act now, and act decisively, to mitigate the fast-approaching climate crisis, I don’t think a plan to avert environmental catastrophe should also include totalitarian mandates for the social reengineering of our society and our capitalistic economic structure in one fell swoop. The totality of her plan is beyond straight-up nonsense; it is downright harrowing.

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The Week of January 28th - February 3rd

Words according to Thomas, Co-Founder, Jack of all Trades, and Creative Director of Raven Vanguard

Political posturing among US politicians – don’t you just love it?

Very much like this Country’s failed medical complex, our political system is equally screwed. And it was broken long before Trump, so don’t even go there. The reason we have someone like Trump in the first place? Because our political system has been irreparably fractured for decades (perhaps much longer), and anarchy appears to be lurking right around the very next corner. The mere fact that Trump and the word president are now historically and regrettably linked is symptomatic of the creeping, perilous malaise that is sucking the lifeblood out of this Country. (In my opinion, Hillary Clinton was not a better option, so please don’t view this Once-over as a pro-Democrat, anti-Republican rant, because it is neither one of those things).

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